Reflect Before Sex in 2014

It’s the start of a new year, and in keeping with tradition many people have picked their resolutions for 2014. There’s been a lot written online this week about sexual resolutions, and the ones I keep coming across are about having more sex, being more adventurous and trying something new in bed.

There’s nothing wrong with these goals, but they seem to be missing an important first step: reflection. Setting intentions can be great for personal growth, but resolutions often have the unfortunate effect of making us focus on what we’re not doing, and thus on the negative. Instead, it might be better to figure out where we’re at before deciding on changes we’d like to make.

This is where a sexual inventory can help. A sexual inventory is an extensive list of boundaries, situations and activities for you to reflect on and choose a yes, no, maybe, I don’t know or fantasy response to.

This can be a great start to getting to know yourself better sexually because it isn’t about framing aspects of your sexuality as right or wrong, but rather about taking inventory on how you feel about them in order to clearly identify and acknowledge what you want.

We so rarely stop to ask ourselves about these things that sometimes they don’t even come up until a boundary is crossed. An inventory offers a dedicated time to reflect on what you’re into and what you aren’t. You’re asked, “Who am I and what do I like?” rather than, “Who should I be and what should I like?”

Doing so regularly also allows you to see how your answers change over time. It’s best done without the pressure that resolutions sometimes impose, and it’s important not to look at any aspect of yourself as negative or problematic, but instead start at neutral and make the goal to fully know and accept yourself. From there you can use the results however you want.

Sexual inventories are also really fun to share with a partner, although I only recommend them with someone you’re comfortable with, since the questions can be quite personal.

Many websites have created sexual inventories but I recommend checking out Scarleteen’s “Yes, No, Maybe So” sexual inventory if you’re looking for one to try.

Sexual inventories and sexual resolutions can be awesome individual tools, but they’re even better when paired together. An inventory allows you to identify who you are and where you’re currently at, and from there you’ll probably be able to more easily identify sexual resolutions you want to commit to.

However you choose to approach the new year, I hope 2014 will be a year of great sexual self-discovery and most importantly, if you ever need help, you know where to find me!

Submit your question anonymously at and check out “Sex & Pancakes” on Facebook. Got a quick health question? Just need a resource? Text SextEd at 514-700-0445 for a confidential answer within 24 hours! Need some extra help? You can always contact Concordia Counselling and Development at 514-848-2424 ext. 3545 for SGW and ext. 3555 for Loyola.

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